HEFTY fines of £5,000 will be dished out to landlords and tenants of shared homes that fail to put out rubbish correctly, Portsmouth City Council has decided.
At a housing meeting this week councillors approved the penalties which will affect houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) in the city.
As a result the fine will increase by more than 8,000 per cent from its previous cost of £60. It will be issued if residents are found leaving waste in forecourts, in the streets or in neighbours’ front gardens, and both landlords and tenants can be penalised.
The council's housing boss, Cllr Darren Sanders, said: 'We do not have the cleanest streets in the country. They are good but they are not the cleanest. We have to use every power we can to make it cleaner. This is one way in which we can do this. It's clear from the residents' complaints that something needs to be done.
'£60 is not a deterrent. We have to send the message that we are serious.'
However, some were unconvinced that this was the best way to tackle the problem.
Speaking at the meeting Southsea-based landlord and letting agent, Alwin Oliver, said: 'I think we both agree on what we want. For many students waste management is pretty low on their list of priorities. I think the city council is not nearly clear enough to tenants about what is appropriate and what is required. What is needed is a really clear message on the website.
'Removal of the waste isn't the issue, it's who pays to get rid of it. It's not always the landlord's fault. If we put rules about waste removal on the tenancy agreement I think we've done enough.
'And just to say the issue we get most often is end-of-tenancy waste.'
Concerned resident Adrian Blackwood added: 'It won't solve the problem. It will be a good way of collecting money.
'Something more specific needs to be done. Some people put their rubbish out a week early. I would like to get to the point where I don't have to look at bin bags any more than one day a week.
'And what about recycling? Can more be done to encourage that?'
The decision was made with the following conditions in place, that the fines will be reviewed by the end of 2019 and conditions will be clearly displayed on the council website.